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Artwork / L sub

Autumn exhibition at Hong Kong House

Artwork / L sub

Autumn exhibition at Hong Kong House

Still Life Objects

Photo by NAKAMURA Osamu

16 October 2020

Practice to calm your mind

“Still Life Objects”, the special exhibition for autumn at Hong Kong House(*1) was launched on 10 October 2020.

Many people spend their later life in villages in Echigo-Tsumari and ageing is a social challenge faced also by Hong Kong and other part of the world. How can we spend the late phase of our lives in the calm state of mind? The artist team called L Sub (*2) in Hong Kong responded to this question by featuring three Hong Kong elderlies (average age 70) including one who donates money to homeless people, one who manages  a hall and one who look closely at social movements and collected their voice and things from their everyday life and created works.

*1: Hong Kong House and Echigo-Tsumari

The relationship between ETAT and Hong Kong goes back to 2006 when students from Hong Kong University stayed for a long term and helped create artworks. Since 2015, young farmers and students of junior and high schools stayed for duration and experienced farming and art in the aim of building a platform for a sustainable farming and culture. In 2018, the exhibition featuring works by socially-challenged artists was held in cooperation with St. James Settlement. With a generous investment by Hong Kong Government, “Hong Kong House” was built in Kamigo-area in Tsunan-town as a base for cultural exchange. In addition to various programs organised throughout the year, artists selected through public calls stay and present their works.

宝鳳-san who is the chief priest as well as a person in charge of the old people’s home recites the Nembutsu in the evening. The artist took an inspiration from her routine, collected sounds that calms down the three people’s respective mind such as massage chair and electric toothbrush, composed “a piece of music for sleeping” and broadcasted. The artist also facilicated to record voice one hour before they go to bed and exchange such recording one another – in order to share “calming voice” between Hong Kong and Japan.

*2: About L Sub

L sub is an artist collective formed in 2012 by Yim Sui Fong (嚴瑞芳), Wendy Wo (胡敏儀), Pak Sheung Chuen (白雙全), Lai Ka Yi (黎家怡). They visit various communities across the globe, create artwork with local people and transform the ordinary into artwork. With a gentle approach, they convey the temperature of people and comunity and return he power of art and creativity to the people.

This exhibition presents artworks that invites viewers to engage with  – artworks that were created based upon rituals and stories of the three elderly people that calm their minds such as attending trials and reciting the Nembutsu in the evening. Those who participate in the exhibition can “practice of calming down their mind” in the exhibition which are made of stories from Hong Kong and Tsunan-town.

When 唐-san queues up to attend trials regarding social activities, she receives colourful numbering tickets.  She sheds tears for young people who are sentenced to heavy penalties. While life doesn’t often go as wished for, 唐-san has found her place in the solemn court. She keeps all the colourful numbering tickets, cries in the visitor’s gallery and dissipates negative emotions. The artist made connection between the budle of the colourful numbering tickets and the act of tearing paper – which became a motif for presentation of the work as well as a basis for a workshop of transforming an emotion into action – (from tear (of crying) into the act of tearing).

The year of 2020 has become an unprecepented year as the pandemic broke down our peaceful life. We are restricted to go out or move around and our economy has been severely affected and the world is moving to the direction of unknown. However, this situation may present an opportunity for people to have sympathy as human being beyond languages and borders.

The backgarden is a space for spending relaxing time as sit down on the sofa. The lighting on the ceiling is an installation which can be adjusted from Hong Kong and other countries online during the opening hours.

A saying in Chinese goes “respond to all changes with immutability”. The current pandemic has given all of us an opportunity to face oneself better. Peace of mind may be the strongest weapon in the face of rapidly changing world. As both Japan and Hong Kong has been experiencing ageing and depopulation, we believe this exhibition presents an opportunity to pass wisdoms of the old generation to the young people who have been living in a peaceful era. 

On the upper level, beddings purchased from the shop that 周-san runs are on display and the data of those who participated in the “exchanging voice at one hour before bedtime project” was iron-printed and presented in the corner of the beddings. Visitors can read “voice to calm one’s mind” on QR code and listen to the recording in the backgarden.

You may enjoy the warmth of people at Hong Kong House as winter is approaching.


Hong Kong House

A residency and gallery space built as a platform for continuous cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Echigo-Tsumari. Designed by a winner of the open competition, Yip Chun Hang and Team who has risen their profile through their participation in Venice Biennale in 2012. In co-operation with universities in Hong Kong, Cultural Institutions and local governments, Hong Kong House organises and hosts various exchange programmes throughout the year as well as provides residency space for artists, performers and writers who will have been chosen through open competitions to stay, create and present their works. Various events will be organised during the seasonal programs.

【Duration】10:00~16:00 on Saturdays and Sundays between 10 October and 1 November 2020
【Admission】Adult JPY500, Child age between 7 and 15 JPY250 (including admission to Echigo-Tsumari Kamigo Clove Theatre) or free to the Autumn Special Ticket holder
【Address】29-4 Miyanohara, Oaza Kamigo, Tsunan-town Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata Prefecture
≫Click here for the details of the exhibition

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